Ranking Every BCS National Championship Contest
Ranking Every BCS National Championship Contest
Since 1999 and the initiation of the Bowl Championship Series, we have seen plenty of championship game magic, as well as some games that failed to live up to expectations. There were plenty of huge performances from big-time talents who have since moved on to the NFL, while others expected to rise to the occasion withered in the spotlight.
Leading up to the January 7th matchup between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide which will be the game's 15th incarnation, it's a fun exercise to rank the previous 14 battles from worst to first, and with all the mediocre games in the middle, not really one that was easy to do.
There were three games that stood out to us on the bottom end as the worst -- boring or uneventful as they were, and on the flipside there were a handful that were captivating and full of drama right down to the last second that were obviously the best of the bunch. The middle is where the controversy lies and where I'm sure plenty of you will disagree with us -- those games are full of subjectivity for sure with little separating them.
Enjoy our list of the BCS National Championship Contests from worst to first!
2001 Orange Bowl: Oklahoma 13 - Florida State 2
The 2001 Orange Bowl matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Florida State Seminoles takes home the "prize" as the most yawn-worthy of the BCS championship matchups. As you could tell from the 13-2 score, offense was sparing in this one, with only one touchdown being scored by Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin late in the fourth quarter to put the icing on the cake for the Sooners, to deliver Bob Stoops his first National Championship in his second season in Norman.
2012 BCS National Championship : Alabama 21 - LSU 0
The 2012 BCS National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers was a matchup of an early season 9-6 field goal festival that no one wanted to see repeated. It happened anyway, and the result was purely boring -- even for self-proclaimed SEC fans. The Tide cruised to an easy 21-0 win over Les Miles' team who managed a pathetic 92 yards of total offense on the evening and didn't even make things interesting.
2002 Rose Bowl : Miami 37 - Nebraska 14
The 2002 Rose Bowl was one of the more controversial of the early BCS era, with the Nebraska Cornhuskers being selected for the championship game in spite of not playing in the Big 12 Championship Game. Turns out maybe the Huskers didn't belong, as they were waxed by an uber-talented Miami Hurricanes team with an NFL-laden roster, 37-14. The Hurricanes jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead thanks to huge individual performances from Jeremy Shockey, Andre Johnson, and Clinton Portis and never looked back.
2007 BCS National Championship : Florida 41 - Ohio State 14
The 2007 BCS National Championship game also came with plenty of hype that failed to be delivered upon as the Florida Gators cruised to an easy 41-14 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Jumping out to a 34-14 halftime lead due to a stout running game led by Percy Harvin, the Gators were all over Ohio State early on -- apart from Ted Ginn's kickoff return for a touchdown to start things off -- and held on scoring only once in the second-half which turned out to be a hard-nosed defensive battle when it mattered least.
2005 Orange Bowl : USC 55 - Oklahoma 19
The 2005 Orange Bowl was never in doubt as the USC Trojans, led by Matt Leinart, LenDale White, and Steve Smith demolished an Oklahoma team thought to be the better of the two as the matchup was selected. The Trojans raced out to a 38-10 halftime lead, and stifled Oklahoma quarterback Jason White who had a Cinderalla season prior to that evening in Miami. As a sidenote, USC was eventually required to vacate all the wins from this season as well as this championship, due to the multiple recruiting violations which were perpetrated by Pete Carroll and his staff in their recruitment of current Miami Dolphins star and 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, Reggie Bush.
1999 Fiesta Bowl : Tennessee 23 - Florida State 16
The 1999 Fiesta Bowl between the Tennessee Volunteers and Florida State Seminoles kicked off the BCS era with flair. Tennessee's defense did a valiant job keeping explosive Seminoles wide receiver Peter Warrick in check -- limiting him to only one catch for seven yards on the evening -- while the Volunteers' Peerless Price exploded for 199 yards, which included a 79-yard touchdown catch from Tee Martin in the third quarter which provided the distance necessary for the win.
2004 Sugar Bowl : LSU 21 - Oklahoma 14
Comparatively, the 2004 Sugar Bowl between the LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners was lacking in some of the star power we had seen in so many of the championship games prior, and it played out in a largely pedestrian game. If we had to pick one, LSU running back Justin Vincent had the best performance of the evening, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, but otherwise it was basically a paint-by-numbers plodding win for the Tigers and one of the less intriguing games in the middle of our pack.
2009 BCS National Championship : Florida 24 - Oklahoma 14
The 2009 BCS National Championship matchup between the star-studded Florida Gators and Oklahoma Sooners promised to be a high-flying affair, but instead largely fell flat. Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford combined for 487 yards passing, but also four interceptions and only four touchdowns between them. Ultimately, Florida's ground game, led by Percy Harvin (and Tebow) was the difference as the Gators finally pulled away in the fourth quarter on a four-yard TD catch by David Nelson to seal the deal.
2008 BCS National Championship : LSU 38 - Ohio State 24
The 2008 BCS National Championship Game between the LSU Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes featured plenty of future NFL talent, with one current NFC backup coming out on top in the end. LSU QB -- and current Seattle Seahawks backup, Matt Flynn -- threw for 174 yards and four touchdowns (two in each half) to eventually help the Tigers escape from Beanie Wells and the Buckeyes in the second half. Wells did plenty to try and keep Ohio State in it, rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, but it wasn't nearly enough to slow down the high octane Bayou Bengals en route to their victory.
2010 BCS National Championship : Alabama 37 - Texas 21
The 2010 BCS National Championship game is most memorable for the first-quarter hit taken by Colt McCoy from Marcelle Dareus that ultimately changed the face of the game. McCoy never returned, and the Texas Longhorns were forced to turn to raw, true freshman Garrett Gilbert who had barely seen the light of day all season to try and keep them in it. While Gilbert's efforts were valient, they weren't nearly enough to slow down Trent Richardson and the high-octane Alabama offense that eventually pulled away in the second-half to earn a 37-21 victory and Nick Saban's second BCS championship.
2000 Sugar Bowl : Florida State 46 - Virginia Tech 29
1999 must have been lingering in the mind of Florida State star Peter Warrick, because he made the 2000 Sugar Bowl his personal showcase. Warrick caught six passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns against the Virginia Tech Hokies, one of which was part of an 18-0 fourth quarter run that helped propel Florida State past the Hokies 46-29. Michael Vick was Michael Vick, compiling 370 yards of total offense and accounting for two touchdowns, but it just wasn't enough as the Hokies collapsed late.
2011 BCS National Championship : Auburn 22 - Oregon 19
In what promised to be a shootout, the 2011 BCS National Championship game between the Auburn Tigers and the Oregon Ducks instead turned out to be decided by a last-second field goal. Cam Newton and Michael Dyer led the way for the Tigers, keeping Darrin Thomas and the Ducks at arms-length down to the game-winning Wes Byrum field goal as time expired. One of the most-exciting games wire-to-wire of the BCS era, this one was a treat for fans in spite of not necessarily following script.
2003 Fiesta Bowl : Ohio State 31 - Miami 24
The most exciting game of the early BCS era was the 2003 Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona featuring the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Miami Hurricanes. This double-overtime thriller was highlighted by a play dubbed "The Call", in which Ohio State wide receiver was granted a controversial pass interference call at the end of the first overtime period, leading to a one-yard Craig Krenzel touchdown run to send the game to the second overtime. Ohio State star running back Maurice Clarrett scored the game winner in the second overtime to take home the trophy for the Buckeyes, and dash the hopes of the Hurricanes who believed they had won prior to the "Call". This one's still debated today, and is undoubtedly one of the best games in college football history.
2006 BCS National Championship : Texas 41 - USC 38
The 2006 BCS National Championship Game is in our opinion the best game in college football history. A back-and-forth battle between the Texas Longhorns, led by Vince Young, and the USC Trojans led by Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, was decided on the final play -- a Vince Young scamper into the end-zone which will be forever burned into the minds of Texas fans around the world. This one had it all with drama at every turn and won't likely be topped anytime soon.